(Getting Started) Effectively Read Newspaper for UPSC in 60 Minutes
The importance of reading the daily newspaper for your UPSC Civil Services Examination preparation cannot be stressed enough. Successful aspirants have time and again stressed how being updated in-depth with the current affairs has allowed them to score good marks. However, aspirants still face a lot of problems trying to decipher 30-35 pages of news each day. Allotting 2 to 3 hours just for reading the newspaper when there is so much more to cover every day seems wasteful. In this article, we try to decipher how one can achieve similar expertise in current news by spending an hour a day only.
First thing first – know what not to read. Out of the massive 30 pages of news in the paper, hardly 2-3 pages of combined content is what you need for UPSC. So, what should you avoid?
Newspaper Front Page
The front page is only useful in terms of headlines each day. Read all headlines. Now it is time to pick and choose. Almost all articles will be further linked to detailed articles in the inner pages.
Avoid headlines on the following :
- Election wins and loses.
- Press Conferences by Political Parties.
- News about Sports Events.
- News related to the Entertainment business.
- Share market or business profits.
- Regional news with no national impact.
Avoid the state news pages. As this differs from state to state, UPSC does not expect you to be updated about different news that made it to these pages in different regions of the country. So you can skip over these pages.
For international events, usually, these are news items that get dragged over months. There is no point in updating yourself on the daily. Instead, check them up weekly or even monthly in a Current Affairs Compilation booklet. That would give you enough details.
You can skip over the business pages sections where there is detailed mention fo the share markets, company shares, profits of private concerns, or salaries of CEOs. Only follow business news relevant to government revenue or expenditure. Such articles appear a few times a year at best.
Similarly, just avoid sports-related pages. Anything of National importance will be most definitely covered in enough details in Current Affairs Monthly Compilations.
We shouldn’t need to tell you that you need to avoid entertainment news like a plague. Also, in Editorial pages, ignore the reader entires and only read columns by noted journalists or specialists.
Now that you know what to avoid, let us look at what you must follow.
Choose News Based on Keywords
Some topics are mentioned for each subject in the UPSC Civil Services Examination syllabus. Ensure that if any of these topics are mentioned in a news item, you give that news item its deserved importance. For example, if the words “demographic dividend”, “poverty”, “judicial review”, etc. are mentioned, the article is important for GS-II Polity. Similarly, if the words “biodiversity”, “hot spot”, “IUCN”, etc. are mentioned, the article is important for GS-III Environment portion. Choose Editorials you have to read based on these keywords too.
Do not skip the national news pages. Read the policies, decisions, etc. carefully. Skip the political drama. Inter-state dynamics are important as well.
Science and Technology
This section of the UPSC syllabus is majorly covered in current affairs. Any technological advance whether related to the private or the government sector should be given importance. Do not skip this portion. For major newspapers like the Hindu, there is a page every week that covers that week’s Science and Tech news. Follow it diligently.
Other than that, in the business section, any news related to RBI, SEBI, IRDS, and other such government regulators has to be followed. Also, follow any humanitarian activities on a national or international scale where India is an active participant.
By following these simple rules, anyone should be able to read their daily news from the papers in roughly an hour. Make notes of only keywords, names, places, and dates and take advantage of monthly news compilations.
You will make your UPSC journey a lot less stressful this way.
Best of Luck.
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